A librarian day in the life as Head of Access Services at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Lupton Library.
7:20am – 7:40am
Arrive at library in time to gather some materials and do some quick email checking before I open the library on the reference desk.
7:45am – 9:00am
Reference desk shift. It’s the Friday of the first week of classes for the semester, so it’s slow. Three hole punches, staples, “how do I format my Word doc” and some Excel formulas questions. I get some more time to reply to emails from faculty. I also find that though our textlinker will tell you certain journals live in open access databases, there’s no way to get to those databases that I can find – not in our A-Z list, or subject guides. I send an email to see if the only way for our users to get to the Directory of Open Access Journals and others is to serendipitously search for an article or journal title, or if I am having an early morning brainfreeze. One of the interlibrary loan staff is out, so I cancel my 10am meeting with the ILL unit. I’ll reschedule it for next week.
9:00am – 9:45am
Finish part of my collection development project. The past few weeks I ran through our PE section, and marked a spreadsheet abotu what I would recommend for discard, what needs updating, what’s missing from the shelflist. I send it off to our data guru librarian, Andrea, who will make the list public and available for faculty review and comment.
9:45am – 10:00am
I made the final revisions to a tentatively accepted ALA LLAMA preconference proposal I pitched with Jenica Rogers and Mary Chimato, putting in Mary’s revised description and adding that LLAMA SASS has agreed to be a cosponsor in-name-only (no funding). Scanned and emailed to the committee chair for final approval and submission to the official Annual program. Mental note to go beg for refreshments funding from a vendor. They should want to woo current & future library managers, right?
10:30 – 11:30
I meant to draft a library refund policy to pitch to the dean and send to administration for approval; instead, I took advantage of my dean’s open door policy to plop down and chat. Hashed out some goings-on in the department, some personnel issues and plans to handle them, some staff development opportunities and funding sources, some schedule changes, some workflow discussions (regarding both now and imminent-new-building). Discussed ordering a new scanner for ILL, ILL policies for emeritus versus retired faculty, retrieved a book identified by a faculty member as incorrectly LC-ed. We talked about the LLAMA preconference I’m doing with Jenica and Mary, and had a good long discussion on library leadership and management, the lack of institutionalized training and development for it, the place a professional organization should have in that, and some ideas to fill that gap. I left feeling more energized than I have in awhile. (This is why I love talking to my boss.)
11:30am – 12:00pm
On the circulation desk. Lots of laptops in and out, the political science books on Montesquieu and Locke are popular, and a handful of returned books and DVDs.
12:00 – 1:00pm
Finish up preparing for a faculty research consult. The professor is interested in locating journal articles on leadership, strategic planning, board development, and conflict management in the context of nonprofit organizations. I happily nerd out, because I love this topic. I also check into Friendfeed to chat with some fellow LSW librarians about things like our current collection review, lurk on a discussion about involving other faculty with our relationship with library vendors, participate in some threads on library management and burnout, and some other interesting stuff. Forget to cook my lunch, it remains uneaten.
1:15 – 2:20pm
Faculty research consult. Demonstrated where to find the information needed, and offered to both design a quick research guide for the online course he professor is teaching so students have a research map and to send relevant articles on the class discussion topics to the professor by next Friday.
Swing by Head of Reference’s office – empty. Mental note to let her know that I’ll be building that study guide for that class, and to ask what delimitations of liaison responsibilities are and if she minds – I love this sort of work, but I don’t want to stomp on toes by moving into reference & instruction’s turf. We don’t care much about turf here, I imagine it will be fine.
2:30 – 3:15pm
Scheduled a meeting for next week about ILL data issues and what we’ll do to solve them. Checked ALA Connect to see if there’s been any action from either the Emerging Leaders group I’m on, or the ULS ad hoc committee I volunteered for. Responded to emails, schedule time on the calendar for the research guide/article finding excursion I promised the faculty member earlier. Dashed off a paragraph as to why the scanner purchase request might be considered sole-source due to some unique properties of the scanner requested. Ordered a gift for a friend who is down. Made a list of 5 songs I plan to order from Amazon when I get home as a present-to-self splurge. Wished for an ipod shuffle.
Realize I forgot to eat lunch today, and the clock says I have no time to make and eat the oatmeal before my desk shift. Boo and hiss. *stomach growling* Emailed Head of Reference about that consult and study guide so that she knows what’s going on. Find out that liaison work is collection-development only. Oops, okay. Now I know. Experience slight panic over emailed reminder of an article due February 1. Decide to ignore it until I have time to deal with the writing next week; tonight and my weekend are already packed. Hope for the tentative three-way call involving my philosophically-close and geographically-far girlfriends. Send staff member home who worked halfway through her lunch due to my long conversation with the dean when I was supposed to be on the desk.
3:30pm – 5:10pm
On the circ desk for the final hours. Printed out a number of articles on librarystuffs (leadership, management, and access-services related stuff) I want to read over the weekend once I finish my coursework reading. Email about new finals hours back and forth with the dean. Finish up the desk work, clear the floor and ask everyone to finish up, check everything in, herd them out, and lock up. And chase out a guy who scurried to use the bathroom after closing despite my disgruntled glaring. Finish locking up, grab reading material for tonight and over the weekend, drive home with a massive headache and a hunger worthy of Mordor.